In pursuit of a triple bottom line: an exploratory study of corporate social responsibility programs conducted and /or sponsored by South African Breweries

Mafemba, Avril K
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been viewed as the means through which the private sector can help government alleviate poverty and inequality in developing countries such as South Africa. However, despite social policies being developed acknowledging the critical role of the private sector and how it should engage with the broader society through CSR, there is very little research that explores how CSR is implemented at grass roots level by companies thus making CSR effectiveness difficult to ascertain. Against this backdrop, the main aim of this study was to explore CSR programs at South African Breweries (SAB). This study adopted a qualitative research approach with the use of a case study design focusing on SAB. Data was collected with the use of three semi-structured interview schedules which comprised of open ended questions that enabled the researcher to probe into deeper issues from participants. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse data and from the findings generated it was evident that there are various factors that contribute towards the choice of CSR programs implemented at every point in time. These factors include feasibility, sustainability, and responsiveness to emergencies, government priorities and business strategy. Amongst some of the strengths of CSR programs by SAB were, partnering with credible organisations when carrying out CSR activities, and using experts to design programs. Challenges such as duplication of efforts and scarcity of resources were noted as major impediments in the running of CSR programs. It is hoped that the research will contribute to knowledge as well as add insights that may be used at a practical level to improve the implementation of CSR programs in South Arica.
A research report submitted to the Department of Social Work, School of Human and Community Development, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Social Development. 2014/5